This is a longer story depicting the lives of young people struggling through the political turbulence of the transition from the Edo to Meiji periods.
Manjiro Ibuya, a young samurai, becomes a student of a kendo (Japanese fencing) school of Chiba Shusaku, a master of kendo. On his third day at the school, however, Chiba dies. Trouble at Chiba's wake leads Manjiro to a duel with a senior pupil, Kiyokawa Hachiro.
The injured Manjiro is treated by Ryoan, son of Tezuka Ryosen, a doctor practicing western medicine imported from Holland in the same Koishikawa neighborhood. This event brought the two together.
While Manjiro is determined to live the vanishing way of life of the samurai, Ryoan is just as determined to clear the way for modern medicine, fighting against ignorance and superstition.
Choosing totally opposite ways of life and looking upon each other as rivals, the two adore the same woman, and both lived passionately through this stormy age.
April 25, 1981 to December 25, 1986
Appeared serially in "Big Comic" (Shogakukan, Inc.)
The young doctor, Tezuka Ryoan, is modeled on one of Tezuka Osamu's real ancestors. When first published, the work drew attention for its disclosure of the family roots of Tezuka Osamu. He also refers in the work to the fact that the real Tezuka Ryoan was the first army doctor in Japan.